The Box last edited by owie on 12/20/20 07:55PM View full history

The last issue written by Neiber.

Holly, Tim's dad's girlfriend, goes to the US for therapy due to their recent events; she doesn't remember anything, but has subconscious effects. Tim characterizes her as the kind of person most people don't notice. He notes that she finally admitted that Cyril has some problems, and he is also going to be temporarily institutionalized.

Tim, finally free for the first time in a while, and haven given up his magic, goes skating, and runs across Leah's old box, where she was trapped for centuries before Tim finally let her out.

Tim is sucked in. Leah picks up the box and says that trapping Tim in was the cruelest and fairest punishment she could devise.

Tim finds himself on a square floor, inexplicably in the midst of a jungle, which is populated by small gliding mammals. He is unable to walk past the square.

Tim dreams of various enemies from the past, saying they could have saved his soul. He wakes to find nothing.

Seasons pass. He spends his time writing in the dust, trying to avoid insanity. EVen more time passes--years. He is an adult, and comes to terms with his confinement, to a degree. A seed falls onto his square from above, and begins to grow into a tree; Tim weeps for its presence.

Tim is now an old man, and the tree has grown huge. He ponders his inability to get along with others, the way he never got too close to people.

One of the small gliders climbs down the tree; one has never come down to the square before. Tim is joyous. It runs off, despite his promise not to hurt it. The ghosts from his dream come back, saying that now that he has made a promise he can keep, their spirits are free.

The jungle begins to burn. Tim tries to protect his one tree, and calls on his absent magic to do so, but only a single raindrop falls.

Leah shows up, and the fire ends. She says he gets so focused on little things, like the tree, that he misses the big things--like when she turned to an elemental to save him. She is angry that he never looked for her. She rejuvenates him to his youth, and explains that he is the one who made this place, and that he couldn't actually get rid of his magic, because his magic is him.

It should be noted that this event, in which Tim has aged--on the inside, even if his body is reverted--for at least decades, and gained peace and maturity, is rarely if ever brought up again. It is similarly notable for Leah's seemingly out of character desire to punish him (although it is true that Tim didn't look for her), especially since she is now ostensibly an ego-less elemental. Their relationship is not revisited.

A back-up feature, excerpting several pages from the next issue, is also included. Titania meets with Lucien in a library in the Dreaming, and finds the Book of Magic--the story of Tim's life. However, it begins to burn in her hands. They do not know who wrote it, but we see him from behind--Thomas Currie.



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